Harnessing the Power of Data Against Cold Fronts and Lows

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Pasha_Bulker04 (1)Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The threat of extreme weather is an existing challenge for many businesses and an emerging one for others. No reasonable person can understate the challenge of doing business in 2021. 

From the growing complexities surrounding digital security to managing the health risks that have arisen due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in comparison to just a generation ago the speed and size of change has been colossal. But arguably, no threat has the potential to be so swift and substantial as the impact of an extreme weather event. That’s why proactively defending against it is critical - and this starts with the right technology.

Dark Clouds Ahead

To those who love it and live here, Australia’s natural environment is a source of pride and delight. The nation is home to natural treasures that are the envy of the world. Yet it’s also true the Great Southern Land’s size and ecological diversity sees it play host to a number of environmental conditions that can pose a substantial threat to the lives and livelihoods of those who reside in Australia.

All Australians can recall confronting examples of these events. Whether it’s more historic events like Cyclone Tracy in the 1970s or the Ash Wednesday’s Bushfires of the 1980s, or more contemporary examples like the aftermath of the 2019-2020 bushfire season, and Cyclone Seorja in April of 2021. And ruefully, there’s widespread consensus that the years and decades ahead will only continue to see an increase in extreme weather events.

Yes, the force of nature is immense - but this doesn’t mean Australians are powerless to respond to it.

Severe Winter Weather Systems Expected In Australia

As we head into the autumn and winter seasons, the main weather factors affecting Australia are cold fronts and lows. Arguably, the worst of these are the East Coast Lows which are expected to develop during late autumn and early winter. Strong Cold fronts will continue through the winter months.

IDX0102.202104100000Image credit: Bureau of Meteorology

A cold front is a rapid change of air mass, and we will see cold fronts sweeping north during winter. Low pressure occurs when air rises over a region and creates instability, producing unstable weather.  Cold fronts are connected to low pressure systems with tight pressure gradients that give strong winds - which can represent risk to your business.  The impact of extreme winds results in the destruction of buildings or cars, damage to roofing, forest damage, trees falling, power lines affected, broken windows, and other flying debris.

Cold fronts impact the southern parts of the country and are considered to be fairly predictable - including the intensity of threats they cause.  East Coast Lows are hard to predict - particularly where they may form and how intense (or not). A small variation in position or intensity along the coast can result in a massive difference in the outcome. 

Logistics might be thrown into chaos, much like what we saw when the Pasha Bulker grounded off Newcastle on 8 June 2007.  Insurance companies will be processing damage claims. Power generation companies need reliable data to ensure their service is not interrupted.

We rely on climate indices like the Southern Annular Mode to identify the positioning of a cold front.  The other reliable index is Indian Ocean Dipole which we use in understanding if atmospheric conditions are more conducive to rainfall or drought and fires.

Head in the Sand While a Storm Rages

Although Australians are not powerless in formulating a plan to guard against extreme weather, it’s an unfortunate reality that many Aussie businesses maintain no plan at all. Given the stats show up to 80% of Aussie businesses are underinsured, oftentimes businesses only begin to formulate a response to an extreme weather event once it has already occurred. By then, it’s far too late to avoid the worst consequences of failing to make a plan.

That’s why being proactive is critical. It’s understood why so many businesses fail to tick all the boxes when it comes to maximising preventive measures, given the pace and complexity of operating a business in 2021. But ultimately, it’s critical that they do so. For those that seek to support businesses in this process, it’s vital to ensure the solutions offered are strong, but also easy to implement. So that businesses can take steps to proactively guard against the risks of extreme weather, see substantial change can be achieved, and then maintained. 

Devising a Defence

With the Early Warning Network’s software, a cutting-edge and powerful package can become a real asset for your business.  One that gives your business the chance to analyse historical weather trends, form an estimate surrounding the likelihood of such events occurring in future, and take action today in formulating a blueprint that meets your team’s best interests going forward.

This software enables your business to make informed decisions about future commercial activities, such as the establishment of new premises in a location that has a history of turbulent weather patterns. Furthermore, it’s a powerful tool in risk mitigation. It can help make assessments of existing assets, and resources, and consider where a change could be prudently pursued in the near future to avoid any existing  - or emerging - risks of extreme weather in future. 

Australian businesses have benefited from our data to mitigate risk in the following ways:

  • Weather alerts that allow businesses to move staff and assets to reduce risk and damage
  • Advanced planning strategies that saw the railway preemptively closed most of the track between Sydney and Brisbane during recent floods, that allowed them to plan and schedule trains accordingly to reduce risk and safety 
  • Using weather data to bring forward deliveries or push deliveries back so stock is not sitting around doing nothing in the logistics industry
  • Health and safety planning for businesses to avoid critical incidents. Businesses may have equipment that would be adversely affected by damaging winds (cranes, stacking of equipment and boxes, etc) which would result in injury should advanced planning not be considered.

Make a New Forecast with The Early Warning Network

If you are looking to protect your personnel, assets, and operations against risks posed by severe weather and other hazards, request a free demo with us today. 

We will show you how we provide the best weather information available, programmed to be delivered how and when you want it.

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